I've tried my best to steer away from getting into politics on my blog, but I felt I needed to post about this one.
In a recent conversation from his radio show, Rush Limbaugh defended Walmart for "selling crud" to those on food stamps. Rush is not the champion of free market that he would lead you to believe. He'd rather protect corporate interests than the interests of the American tax payer. Rush claims that plenty of stores sell highly processed foods and that it's not the government's place to fix the problem - oh, but it is, Rush!
If the government is spending money to feed people, shouldn't that food be healthy food that won't lead to health complications? ...Health complications which will probably cost tax-payer money too? Regardless of how you feel about the health care debate in the US, the fact is if you need immediate medical assistance, you will receive it - period. Who ends up paying for that is up in the air, but it usually comes from the hospital's bottom line and the government (at one level or another).
Ok, health problems may end up costing us somehow, but we're paying for people's food that live on food stamps, so why not give them good food? I'm not talking about filet mignon, fine wine and imported Kobe beef - I just mean basic staples like bread, produce and meats. Why give a hungry family a tube of mass-produced, ammonia-treated, brine-pumped, pink slime with fillers that passes for ground beef? Why feed a growing child "fruit drink" when we can provide them with real juice, from actual fruit? Why give them a sandwich made of slabs of bleached flower with the majority of the nutrition removed, then added back in at the minimum reportable amount for marketing? The answer lies in cost and how much each food item costs the shopping parent with the food stamps - not necessarily what the healthiest option is.
In an article from the Huffington Post, one MD discusses the hidden cost of "cheap" foods.
Have you spent the last six months living on Twinkies and jet fuel grade coffee to turn out your latest abomination creation? Does it incorporate validated syntax? Does it adhere to all of the W3C standards? Is it fully driven by CSS?
If so, that's great. You've worked hard to achieve what countless Geocities authors could only dream of.
However, this does not give you the right nor the justification to resize my browser without asking first. My personal window settings for my browser are just that: personal. Your content, while possibly revolutionary (but probably wholly unexceptional) is not special, and it does nothing to endear me to whatever your website is trying to tell me.
And woe be unto you if you're trying to sell me something. Not only will I never patronize your site again, I will post rants on websites explaining exactly how you should be publicly flogged for forcing your sizing preferences on the rest of us.
Stop being a butthorn and realize that your, "creatives" aren't anything more than some rendered text and a few pictures.
With all the talk about healthcare and the oh-so-scary "public option", it's hard not to touch on the increasing obesity problem in America. A recent infographic outlines the American obesity problem. (Americans eat the same as the average Chinese citizen, plus 19 slices of bacon!) Is there some sinister plot out to get you? Surely not. It's mostly due to portion control on behalf of the consumer. (Remember how small a "small" used to be?) Also think about how seemingly offensive it is when you order a meal at a restaurant and you finish it all! Heaven forbid you finish your plate and not hurt afterward!) But, for the most part, food is cheap and we love to eat. Salt, fat and sugar: our big three food groups. You'd be hard pressed to name a favorite dish that isn't just mounds of these three. But, again, those 3 are the cheap ones. Most vegetables aren't very cheap compared to a bag of chips. Calorie for calorie, junk food is cheaper. Why? Corn.
After watching the documentary Food, Inc., I began to realize just how extensive corn has become in all of our foods. Corn subsidies have helped junk food (of which corn is the #1 contributor) become the cheapest source of calories in the American diet. You can buy a ready-made hamburger for less than you can a head of lettuce. You can buy a order of french fries cheaper than you can buy a potato. These artificially low prices are due to corn subsidies. Subsidies ensure Americans have access to cheap food. The problem has now become that our subsidized food is now too cheap. It's time we come off of our subsidies.
If we look at the infographic above, we learn that Americans consume nearly 4000 calories a day.
Former presidential candidate Senator John McCain has issued a press release outlining his new bill to prohibit the FCC from issuing binding rules on how the Internet is operated in the United States.
Now, I am a fan of Net Neutrality from a philosophical standpoint. I firmly believe that Internet backbone carriers as well as end user ISPs should not be allowed to implement network practices that limit users based on the amount they pay for service or how much of a service they use.
But, to me, the issue is much broader than basic FCC regulation over the physical network itself. This is a problem for the FTC in how data networks and Internet access is marketed to a strikingly dumb population, and it is an issue for the Justice department to been involved in when companies consort with one another to stifle competition in broadband markets.
Since the early days of 56k V.90 dialup service, ISPs have shouted from the mountain tops that their service offerings were unlimited. Both myself and several of my friends (Bone_Enterprise can attest) took the ISPs to task on this by remaining connected for weeks at a time. Many times, accounts were disabled and we were informed that we were abusing their network. Despondent, we replied that they advertised the service as unlimited. The response was always, "it is unlimited, but you can't use all you want." The incongruity of it all was something that irked us to no end.
As it turns out, what they were advertising is, "unlimited ability to access," and not, "unlimited usage." I believe this is false advertising in sheep's clothing. Regularly the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to issue new profanely long commercials clarifying their claims about a particular drug and its side effects. Where is this watchdog mentality about the Internet and the trillions of dollars in GDP that it fosters?
Facebook has exploded in the last twelve months. Leaving MySpace, Orkut, and the rag tag group of other social networking sites in the dust, it has single handedly surmounted the world of telling everyone everything regardless of whether or not they actually wanted to know. Only Twitter is able to stave off the blitzkrieg of Facebook, and then only because stupid people haven't figured out how awful it is.
I joined Facebook a few months ago at the incessant urging of small people from Scandinavia. Upon further inspection, I acquiesced to the request because Facebook looked like MySpace without the dumb. It was friends connected to other friends and there was some writing of stuff back and forth. It had a pretty clean interface and, minus the AJAX fetish that seems to permeate the site, it works pretty well.
Oh my, how wrong I was.
You see, on Facebook lies the concept of applications. These applications are about as varied as they come, but they all share one defining feature: they are all completely stupid.
Share a round of drinks! Send a hug! Give a smile! Take a quiz! Become a fan of crab people! Most of this crap isn't even possible, much less a passing excuse for social interaction. Never in all my life have I been more thankful for the, "block this application" feature than I am with Facebook.
History Channel is history. It's no longer concerning itself with history which we can learn from. The History Channel should rename itself "Crap that didn't make it to Discovery Channel Channel" or "The Speculation About Stupid Crap, Imaginary Crap We Wish Was Real, Mythical Beasts, And Redneck Reality Shows Channel".
At first, I was offended by Modern Marvels - this wasn't history, what's it doing on this channel?!, then it sorta grew on me. It was neat seeing things made. I swallowed the whole "modern history is history too" notion. Then it dawned on me, they don't cover history anymore! I remember when Roger Mudd did all their intro's and voiceovers. I still love to watch recordings from The History Channel at 6am when they do reruns from that time. You might catch a show about some little known aspect of the Civil War or some tribe of Vikings or a inconsequential battle that took place in southern Russia, but it was history! Now, it's just full of speculation about what the future will be like or how some backwoods dope claims to have been abducted by aliens and then you listen to "experts" drone on about how the dope probably really was abducted. It has to be true, they have a Ph.D on screen saying it could happen - nevermind the guy's Ph.D is from ITT for daisy-wheel printer and typewriter repair.
I guess I just wanted to make you aware that I've reached my breaking point with History Channel. I used to love it, I hoped it was just a phase they were going through, but I have to admit (like NASCAR) it looks like it's here to stay. I don't have to say much more, if you don't know what I'm talking about, turn on the History Channel right now and I can almost guarantee you won't see content about anything from before 1970s.
I watch pieces like this and really wonder how long we'll be stuck in a society full of ludites. Seriously, how hard is it? There's not alot of variance among electronic items today. It might take a moment to inspect the product, understand it's uses and connections. After that it's just plugging it in. Things are so color coded and on-the-device labeled, it's not that hard.
I especially liked the bit about the NYC school teacher than spent a long time trying to hook up his new HDTV. Really? HDTV hookup? Things are labeled. Theres one input for the TV signal, one for the DVD or other video device. What could you get stuck on?
The guy with the Ph.D. that said "I have an engineering degree from MIT and I couldn't figure it out", really got to me. What could that possibly have to do with anything. Judging from his looks his undergrad was probably done when Roosevelt was president. Furthermore, what does it matter that he was an engineer? (Especially if you learned on vacuum tube technology!)
It still bothers me that people bank on their laurels of a college degree to show infinitely complicated something must be to figure out. "If I can't, than surely a person without a degree can't." AT this point, I'll remind my readers that I still don't have a bachelor's, and I can't think of any problems I've encountered with new products. I can't say that anything I've learned in any of my classes has helped me hook up and use consumer devices. (If anything I have a better understanding of how little bearing college has on "real life". Grimlen and I hooked up my mom's HDTV on Christmas day without looking at the manual and we're not even Geek Squad employees!
It's been mounting over the past year or so, I'm finally starting to lose faith in Digg. Once upon a time, Digg was a great source of tech news that produced links and info faster than Slashdot. There was a time when I thought Digg was going to actually take over the Slashdot community. (Ha!)
I thought Digg's model would bury Slashdot because of the speed in which you could get tech news. (Comment systems aside - that's a whole other issue) One of my reasons for thinking this was the "democratic" style of moderation on digg - "only the news the people want will make the front page", I thought. Well it turns out that the vast majority of 'the people' are morons. (Now I understand why we have electoral votes in America!)
I've seen things appear on CNN, Slashdot, Wall Street Journal and Fark before it gets to the front page on Digg - Yes, digg has been outpaced by even traditional news outlets.
Another huge problem for Digg is the mounting number of idiots that are posting content and getting "dugg" to the front page. They just want to get their story to the front page so they find some link about the iPhone, Ubuntu, AJAX or Ruby post it and it makes the front page - not that any news about such topics isn't wanted, but enough is enough! Another source of links for front-page-chasers is Reddit. Simply go to reddit, grab a link from their front page and repost it on digg, it'll go right to the front page - kewl!!1!
Unless Digg something to counter this problem, I'm probably going to jump ship. Thanks for the memories.
Often seen on the backs of Plano-resident-soccer-moms' SUVs, these ubiquitous distractions do nothing more than communicate to other drivers that you have one or more bratty children that are most likely undisciplined heathens, pushed into athletics by their over-bearing parents. These things are like letter-jackets for parents who wish they were still in high-school and want to show off their children like merit badges. I finally snapped when I saw a Yukon with no less than 13 of these things, representing all the various interests of only 3 children.
I'm not discouraging kids having extra-curricular activities, or active parenting, but if little Connor or Madison happen to be members of the pee-wee soccer squad, don't delude yourself into following the unwashed masses and believing that you aren't a good parent if you don't clutter up your car with an homage to them.
Email forward duplicates seem to be like ripples on a pond. At first they're closely spaced together. Then, as time passes, they become more spaced out. I'm sure there's some formula with the longevity of the cycle being directly related to the initial frequency of forwards you get for that message. Now if only I could find a formula to predict the span of time between each time the message is sent to me.
Also, this is not an invitation to send me any forwards. Only to see if you notice a pattern in your inbox.
I love Penn and Teller's TV series on Showtime. Unfortunately I don't get Showtime, so I must settle for catching it on YouTube or Google Video. The language is harsh, but the points they make are valid and presented very well. I may not agree with alot of their points, I bet they can probably make just as good of a case in the opposite direction if they chose to do so, but I'd say they're pretty much spot-on with most of their points. I doubt the language is anything you haven't heard before, but I should warn you there's copious amounts of cursing in their dialog.
As you may tell from the title, this episode is about Recycling. It has some very interesting points on the topic. It shows how the US government spends $8 Billion annually in subsidies for the recycling industry. Stipends are rarely ever repealed and almost no industry ever weens itself from government stipends, so I don't see any end in sight. Watch the video, see for yourself. Comments welcome.
Okay, you know what? "Amazing" is being overused. It's become part of the hipster vernacular and I can't stand it. Amazing should only be used by sports broadcasters when reviewing highlight reels. (i.e. "an amazing catch" or "amazing hit") Amazing is not a word to be used to describe food, movies, music or any artistic expression.
When used to describe food, movies or music, I think "amazing" is right up there on the Scale of Gay with "fabulous". You would never call something fabulous unless you really wanted to sound gay, right? So why call something amazing?
Cool, awesome, sweet - these are all acceptable terms for describing something you've found to be pleasing. Not amazing. Very few things in life are truly amazing. To be amazed, according to dictionary.com, is "to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder". I seriously doubt you were overwhelmed with wonder by tasting some soft serve ice cream (if you were, you really need to get out once in a while; a whole world awaits you). Were you really astonished at the sound of that new indy rock album? If so, you must never listen to anything but the grass growing or the sound of ear wax collecting in your thick head.
All I'm trying to say is that unless gay, don't use the word amazing. Got it?
For years, those of us so afflicted with the ability to fix, repair, or further damage computers have spent a great deal of otherwise valuable time decrying the mind boggling decisions made by OEM computer manufacturers when it comes to case design and usability. Of course, most of this is by design; they want you to pay them when something breaks instead of being able to fix it yourselves. However, in the world of laptops, this was seemingly a necessity and not just the post-defecation thought of an evil and angry design engineer at Compaq.
Wiser men than I have said that only fools do hardware repairs on laptops. In the long run, it just isn't worth it. The way things are designed and laid out to fit all of that junk into a small space does not give way to ease of access. It has always been utterly inexcusable for desktop computers; for laptops it is excused but still unnecessary!
It is possible to engineer a laptop so that the chassis, motherboard, and associated components are able to be removed and replaced/repaired. This idea goes deeper than memory or hard drives: it goes down to individual components like card slots, I/O ports, heat dissipating units, and flux capacitors. In a surprisingly ironic turn of events, one of the most hated companies in terms of desktop case design was also the purveyor of some of the most functional laptop designs on the market. That company: Dell.
As Tommy will attest, when we first met and worked at SFA together, we had a huge bank of laptops from Dell. Both of us had spent time taking them apart and fixing them at various times and for various reasons. It was not the simplest task in the world but it was at least possible.
I should've posted this sooner, it's a bit late now to spot the offenders, but there were way too many people putting up their Christmas lights early. An faux pas I've come to call a "false start". It's one of the unwritten man rules that you don't put up your decorations until after Thanksgiving Day (at least after the dinner on Thanksgiving Day). Just like everyone knows you're supposed to leave them up until after New Year's Day. You don't start too soon, you don't quit too early. It's like running a race, you start when everyone else does or you lose. You finish when everyone else does or you lose. (*and everyone knows that if you leave them up year-round, you've lost so badly you can never compete again)
Even if you're unable to have a family dinner on Thanksgiving Day and you eat a few days early, you still can't put your lights up until Thanksgiving Day. Otherwise it's a false start. It'd be like going over to eat at someone's house and they already have a Christmas tree up - you just don't do that until afterwards.
Retailers? They're immune to this rule because they, of course, have to be able to sell you decorations if you're going to put up your decorations on the day of Thanksgiving. But remember, just because you bought them early does not excuse you from having to wait until Thanksgiving to put them up.
Now that you can go ahead with your decorating, when you're done why not practice some holiday trick to show your friends and family?
So this evening I'm driving down one of the roads here in the lovely metropolis of Longview and I see another. It's not a new phenomenon, it's just been an annoying one that has crept in as more people died. The object of my rant this time is the subject of the annoyingly and increasingly popular "In Memory of..." stickers.
I'm writing this partly to vent my annoyance, but to also let it be recorded in the tomes of internet history. These stickers are retarded. Yes, someone you know has died. Sorry for your loss. Don't get a vinyl sticker made. I think these stickers started back when our dear friend and "racing lengend" (sic), Dale Earnhardt, died. In less time than it takes a NASCAR/TRUCK to complete a lap and people were slapping on the memorial stickers. I think I've seen more Dale memorial stickers than I have 9/11 memorial stickers - how patriotic.
Since our beloved racing hero has died, several unknown Americans have died and their deaths are heralded by vinyl stickers than can be found on many different cars from all classes of drivers. I'm sorry, but if I die, and all that I get is a sticker, I'd be tinkleed. Especially if it's some beater of a car too, that would be worse than just being forgotten in my death.
Now, when I see these stickers I wonder what it is that the vehicle's owner wants me to relate to their loved one's death? Do they drive in memorial? Is their car's owned in memorial? Is its immaculate cleanliness attributed to their devotion? Just the fact that they went out of their way to order a vinyl decal? What exactly is 'In memory of' supposed to be associated with?
I'm currently looking for a new webhost. I'm with DreamHost right now, and they have been really really sucking the past month - if you haven't noticed. All of the downtime is due to their overloaded servers. They have great prices to attract more customers, but as of late, they've been driving away those customers (like me) due to bad network support.
What is wrong with people? I just had a guy run into me yesterday because he was walking one direction and looking in another - around a corner! Unless you have some wallhack on, pay attention to where you're walking. I can't stand it when people are too concerned with what's going on "over there" than to be concerned with the possibility of someone being "over here". Especially when they say "Oh, I'm sorry, didn't see you there.". Of course you didn't see me here, you oblivious pile of crap! You had your head on crooked!
People need to pay attention or learn how to get out of the friggin way.
The same goes for drivers. People who are too concerned with some accident, or they're too busy waving to their friend that is too cheap to own a car so he's walking down the road when he obviously knows someone with a car, because they're slowing down to wave at him. Get off your cell phone if it's going to slow you down! There should be a law against impeding traffic. It's slow people that cause alot of accidents. People are too oblivious to have any notion that there is a world going on outside of their reality TV shows. Pay attention to life!
I was at the store the other day looking at all the various options on the standard men's shaving razor. There's a whole host of choices. You can get cheap single-blade safety razors for as little at $0.10 per razor, or you can go for razor refills as crazy as 2 for $5 - that's $2.50 per head. Whoa, what?! Yeah, you read that right, little strips of metal, in a plastic housing with a little piece of sponge and aloe for $2.50.
Granted, this might not be that much, but that's because you're used to paying whatever they charge for razors. I am constantly reminded of how ridiculous the price of razors is when I go to purchase more. Some beards/whiskers are finer than others, and I know some of you probably don't shave as often as I do. Well, let me tell you, my whiskers are thick and shaving with those razors, they only last 2 (maybe 3) times before they lose their edge.
So I decided to check out my other options. I looked at the unit price on the disposable razors. I saw the whole gamut, and setted on a Gillette pivot-head, double-bladed disposable razor that came out to about $0.50 per. I figured this would save money, it's essentially the same thing, but for a fraction of the cost. It's Gillette, and they know a thing or two about razors. So I thought. The stupid razor was like shaving with a knife. The handle felt like it was made of cork compared to my trusty Mach3 handle, and as for a close shave? Hardly. Gillette must offer these cheaper razors to those that needn't shave often, or have a thick beard, or to mock you when you try to save money. To make you come crawling back to the $2.50-a-pop blades.
I was recently contemplating the lack of automatic flushing toilets in only the places where the need to be able to not touch anything is of paramount importance. Or, at least something that had, at a bare minimum, some basis in reality. Upon failing that task rather spectacularly, I reflected upon recent developments in the proliferation of not-from-concentrate orange juice.
Growing up in our house, orange juice was not unlike a fine wine; it was to be celebrated and revered. One would dare not drink it lightly and there would certainly be no consuming of this fine nectar in mass quantities. It comes as no surprise to many that oddities of this sort were hardly odd.
In recent times, orange juice manufacturers seem to have gotten all giddy with themselves. In conjunction with the health craze that has swept the nation and changed a cause into an industry, orange juice has changed from something that both tastes good and is good for you to something that still tastes good and is good for you but is more expensive.
Not-from-concentrate is the catchphrase of the day. And, for some faux added personal value, a certain brand added the word, "Premium." Premium, indeed. I have no facts to back up this generalization, but I believe it is a general belief held by the public at large that something from a, "Mom & Pop" organization has more value than something that is produced by a mega-corporation and are thus willing to pay more for it. Thus is the case with some orange juice companies. They market their product as a local family business so that an unsuspecting and unquestioning public will pay more for their product under the guise that they're getting some sort of value from it.
Now we have things that are infused with calcium, extra vitamins, various minerals otherwise used to build things, and my personal favorite, low acid.
I drove to Best Buy today in search of that 20 dollar Creative 30 gig MP3 player. Unfortunetly, all of the employees took advantage of the price glitch and there were no more.
Anyway, as I was browsing around checking out laptops, there was this Salesguy explaining to a woman how to remove spyware from her machine. I always wondered why people were so hell-bent on using programs like Spy Sweeper and Nortan Internet Securities, but now I know why.
The salesguy was just throwing out this stuff like jelly donuts to a fat kid; the lady was just eating it up. BS lines such as "Well, Spybot and Ad-aware don't really work too well because they are free. Spysweeper stops it in 'REAL TIME.'" Other lines such as "Nortan Internet Securities is the best!" were just appalling. I wanted to just say "You sir, are full of erroneous information!", but he kept going on and on; it would have been pointless.
I also remember a time when I needed a video card and just happened to be at a Best Buy. I asked the sales guy where his video cards were, and he asked me what kind I wanted. Now, this is the time where 3DfX JUST released the VooDoo 5, and was bought out shortly thereafter by nVidia. I told him I wanted a GeForce 2, but he actually said "Nah man, you gotta wait for the VooDoo 9, it's going to RAWK!" I kid you not, he actually said RAWK.
I blame companies such as Best Buy for such blatent mis-information about important concepts such as spyware removal. It's bad enough that spyware sucks fart-canister, but adding suck software to the mix just makes the suck factor suck more. Amazingly, some people take Best Buy's word as gospel, and you can't convince them otherwise because you don't work at a billion dollar corporation and look like a Jehovah's witness while dawning the title AGENT 69 and driving a gay Volkswagon Bug with the title "Geek Squad" plastered on the side (that is a rant for another time).
So it seems that Southern California is a hotbed of activity for new product trials. The FritoLay company (In MSG We Trust) has replaced one of my favorite snack chips off all time with a haughty substitute that surely does not merit the hallowed name of Funyuns.
Funyuns with Wasabi. Mildly amusing Bud Light commercials aside, I have nothing against Wasabi as a thing in its own right. I do, however, take great issue with the violation of mixing this flavor with Funyuns. You see, Funyuns have a great flavor in and of themselves. They didn't need any help!
I found myself searching through the grocery store shelves a couple of weeks ago in an attempt to find a normal bag of Funyuns with which to enjoy while eating sammiches at various intervals throughout that coming week. I found one lone bag, stuffed way in the back, surrounded by these his traitorous brethren. There was much rejoicing.
Today, after my twice weekly walk that only happened once, I decided that it would be nice to stop by a local Stop-N-Rob 7-11 and acquire a, "Big Grab" bag of Funyuns to have with my sammich for lunch. To my horror, this store carried nothing but Funyuns with Wasabi. So I, being the highly adventurous fellow that I am (stop laughing) decided to purchase some because, after all, how bad could it be?
As if falling asleep at my computer desk last night wasn't punishment enough, I had to go off and not give this situation the proper consideration that it required. I opened the bag to a blast of fairly putrid air. However, the chips themselves looked fine. I could discern no major difference. At least until I tasted one.
My first reaction was one of spiked interest; they tasted exactly like they smelled.
WTF is up with eBay shipping prices?!
KD5ING sent me a cool link called lastminute-auction.com, it lists auctions that are $1 or less and end within the hour. A very nifty site indeed.
So I'm looking through some of the available items and see a couple of neat things, I look at bidding on them - and shipping is $15!!! For a 99cent item! It's not heavy, it's just the "handling charge". Well, if that's the case, don't touch it, just put it in a box and be done with it. I don't want you handling the merchendise anyway. The extra charge in the shipping category is how some unscrupulous eBayers are making their money. Sure, they'll sell an item for just pennies, but then make their money back on the shipping. Buyer beware!
I think it should be against eBay policy to allow more than $3-4 for "handling", if your product costs you $5, don't sell it for $.99 and then have the other $4 tacked onto shipping - no, charge the $5 up front. To do otherwise is dishonest I think. Sure, you can see how much their shipping charges are, but the selling price is what people care about, only after being lured in by cheap price do they see the 'hidden' shipping charges.
While talking to Notorious online today, we somehow got on the subject of ranking interest groups. Some groups are useful and just fun, but as with any hobby, when you meet and gather for one idea or one interest, you are instantly transformed into a geek. This is true for all hobbies, nothing is above this simple rule. A group of friends is seperate from this, however. You are all friends, plain and simple - there is no underlying reasoning for you hanging out. There are only so many people that will fit into your clique.
I know it's natural for any hobby to spring into knowing other people with similar interests. The only hobbies I can think of that you could see other people and not be labeled a total dork are things that are inherently social. Such things as seeing your favorite band in concert, seeing your favorite sports team, or auto and boat shows. The problem with every hobby is there are extremists. (Even those "safe", inehrently social events have extremists.) It's the extremists that show you how bad things can get if you don't balance your life with something grounded in reality. You know the extremists, for movie-goers and book readers it involves dressing the part of their favorite characters. Any time your hobby moves you to dress the part, you're in too deep. You need to stop your hobby and do something else for a while. Get a job, get a girlfriend/boyfriend, spend more time in public.
When your hobby takes you past that threshold, you must realize: no matter how many other people are also dressing the part, they're just as gay as you are. To be all into D&D or RPGs is one thing, but when you move into Live Action Role Playing (LARP), you have just catapulted yourself into utter faggotry.
So we went to have dinner at the World Famous Denny's Restaurant. Everything was going along nicely. We were seated promptly and had our drinks brought to us in a timely fashion. Then we waited... and waited... and waited... and finally we have our waiter come to us and ask if we are ready to order. We answer "yes" and he tells us that he will go get our waitress for us. Who should come to our table? Why, it is the same waitress we had last time we were there... Cheryl (sounds similar to the beginning of Chernobyl).
A little history... first time we had her, she was extremely slow, and didn't seem to give a crap about doing her job. Although she was rather horrible, I left her a tip of 15% (around $3.75), because I am a Compassionate Conservative. Jessica was tinkleed that I tipped less than $5.00, because she is a waitress and feels that she should tip 156% of the total. She also has a hard time comprehending that people should be tipped for doing a good job, and not given pity bucks because they hold the same job title.
Cheryl finally takes our order, and Jessica tells me about how we need to tip her better this time so that she will be a better server the next time we come in. I was like... negative. This isn't france nor is it russia. This is a democracy with a capitalist economy. I am not going to be giving away money to someone who doesn't work. My response tinkleed her off, but hey, she can get over it.
Some time later, our food is brought out to us, by a different member of the wait staff.
Ok, so I started working on campus at the SFA student IT department, aka The SHACK. We are a spin-off of the Campus IT Department, centered around keeping students computers running. Yeah, you know where I'm going already. Well, the spyware and stuff can get out of hand, and for some people it's just too much of a chore to have to keep up with. I can understand how some people who don't spend as much time on the computer as you or me, can get lost in all the latest news when it comes to smashing spyware and virii, but I digress.
Most students on campus have either Dell, HP, or eMachine computers. All of which pale in comparison to the rocking systems you can build for less money - not the point. All of these manufacturers completely cover the front of their cases with sales stickers, each one saying something different, some listing the system specs, "$100 Cash Rebate!", "Built to run Windows XP!", and all sorts of other crap. Every computer that I'm looking at right now has an Intel Inside or AMD sticker and a WindowsXP logo stuck on the bottom corner.
All of these stickers are pointless! Why do all of these people leave these stickers on the front?! Some even leave the protective film on scratch-prone surfaces! I think computers are the only consumer item that is allowed to be covered with stickers at sale time, and left on until its worthless. Think about it, you don't see 1987 Buicks going down the road advertising it's sleek "Manual sunroof. automatic, A/C, 1.5%APR!" features with a giant sticker on the windshield! So why a computer?! You wouldn't dare leave those static-cling stickers on your monitor or television. "Look honey, it's a Sony 27" TV! Remember when we got it? It had that on the screen when we got it out of the box, and it's still there!" Strip your computer!
I have just received word on the new Baytown Christian Academy mascot. I didn't even know they were considering a change. The decision was not made by the students, or even any alums.
The faculty was tired of being just another school with "Saints" as the mascot. Understandable, but I think it's healthy to enlist the help of the student body when deciding. So they decided for the students and I'm assuming the students welcomed the new mascot because I didn't hear any negative remarks about it.
The new mascot, you ask? Bulldogs.
WTF?!? Havoc recalls some queer students trying to make a coup to change the mascot to this when we were still attending. It didn't fly; and 7 or 8 years later I still say it's gay.
Bulldogs?! Just, pop off and change the name to Bulldogs? C'mon, get more creative. How about bananaslugs, or Ding Dong Daddies?
It's one thing if the students chose it, but I can't see them choosing a mascot like the Bulldogs. It's just one of those generic, all-American mascots that had it's heyday back in the 40's and 50's.
True, there are a metric ton of christian schools with their mascot as the Eagles, or Saints, or Warriors; but It seems like every other school we played were either the Warriors or the Eagles. Occasionally we met another Saints team, but never did we encounter a team of Bulldogs. Why not? Because it's a gay mascot. So gay, that teams would rather take on the Eagles or Warriors or Saints, than be called Bulldogs!
I say BCA should re-evaluate their decision, throw it open to the student for nominations and final vote.
I'm sorry, but I still care for my alma mater.
Havoc sez: Bulldogs is about as generic as any school can get. BCA Saints was a name that actually stuck out better.
Just checking in to let all know what it is like in Costa Rica. So far, all has gone as planned. I have rather much liked my time here and will definitely own a house here. Only bad things here are the fact that everyone looks at the tall, white American and believes he is hellaweathy, so the bums always come up to me, and the taxis try to rip me off. They can all go to hell though, especially the taxis. I only walk and take the busses now. This will probably be my crappiest post ever, because WIN98 is in spanish, and the spanish keyboards totally suck. Seriously... why the hell do you have to rearange every freaking key. Anyway, this POS intel-celeroń/56mbRAM computer is tinkleing me off, so I will end this now. I only ask that Tommy find a way to improve this for me.
International politicing for George Bush is going very well. I have changed the minds of the Costa Ricans, as well as a couple hippies from the United States (Iowa & forgot the otherone). Costa Rica is now a safe place for Americans again. (you're welcome)
I am. Really. In light of this fact, I am naturally inclined to like manly things, and have somewhat of a distaste for feminine things. While I'm certainly not saying, "MAN GOOD, WOMAN BAD," I'm just noting that there is a difference in preferences based on gender.
That being said, why do all the good paper plates have flowers and other, "pretty" things on them? Sure, the large part of the quality paper plate buying market are mothers who stay at home to raise their children, but what about those of us who happen to be gentlemen of upstanding regard and taste in paper products? Are we doomed to a life of cheap paper plates, or can we group together and lobby companies like Dixie to make us a paper plate that is manly, or at least disabused of all this flowery crap?
The answer, of course, is probably not. But it's a thought, nonetheless. It's things like this that make me want to scream when I hear that women are treated unfairly in the marketplace. Maybe that's true, but you can get paper plates that you like!
I believe the mind of a human being is fully capable of discovering something, learning how it works, and then figuring out a way to make it better. A valid example of this idea would be bread. A few thousand years ago, some folks discovered that when you mix flour and water together with some yeast, a lovely concoction is created that has texture, taste, and life sustaining energy nutrients. Later, after we figured out how yeast worked in terms of chemistry, we started mass producing the stuff. Finally, in the not so distant past, some people discovered that bread was so much nicer when it came sliced for you, instead of in a large hunk that required two 3/4 ton winches and small flatbed truck to move around.
But this story isn't about bread. No, dear reader, this story is about when people take a good idea and change it into something seemingly better, but is actually detrimental to our society as a whole. Or at least my personal sanity.
I'm talking about grammar. Specifically, the shortening of words that, by any stretch of the rules, cannot be shortened. As an example, I submit the words, "you," "your," and, "you're" being changed to, "u," "ur," and, "ure," respectively. I am simply dumbfounded that this deviation from accepted lexicon has been allowed and, at times, encouraged by the population of the Internet as a whole.
I want to know who in the name of Throckmorton P. Guildersleve III Esq. thought this was a good idea? If you stop and think about it, the usage of these letters in place of actual words makes things harder to read, because your brain must make an extra correlation between the grouping of letters and an actual word. Personally, I absolutely hate deciphering some thirteen year-old's sad attempt at complete sentences.
The average excuse I hear from individuals who actively participate in this blind pillaging of language is that typing properly is too hard or takes too long.
So last night I got in an accident at 12:25a. My car is totalled, and I'm beginning to realize that I can not drive a decent car for any length of time before the stupid, moronic drivers on the roads find me and put an end to my nice car(s).
This girl claims she 'never saw' me or this other truck right behind me. She was driving all emotional and crying and crap. Moron. The wreck I had before this was a middle-aged accountant that still lived at home, and was turning left, unprotected, through a busy intersection. (I-10 @ Garth, Baytown) Moron. Before that, the most stupid of the drivers that I've encounter in said way, pulled out of the Baytown Albertson's parking lot, across 2 lanes of oncoming traffic so he could "try to beat" the oncoming traffic. Even though the guy he was trying to beat, yours truly, was only about 25ft away from him and only going about 45mph! (Unless his car is capable of accelerating and moving him across the two lanes (24ft) in less than .37 seconds from a dead stop. Which I don't think a 1982 hatchback can do. *which happens to be about 64mph in less than half a second.) Moron.
All this to say, since the laws of physics say that opposites attract, and these people are all morons, I must be of a reverse-moronic polarity. Meaning, I am clearly not a moron. So, for anyone out there that ever says, "Hey, you know, that Tommy guy is a moron", I say "Correction sir, you are the moron, the laws of physics require that you be the moron".
On one hand, there are the phone service customers (that's you and me), on the other there are the tele-marketers (who know this will cut into their 'customer base'). The average citizen says "I hate those stupid telemarketers." The telemarketers cry 'unfair' and try to play the 1st Amendment, Freedom of Speech card.
I ask "What the hell are you thinking?!" Freedom of Speech?! Are you kidding? Nobody is telling them they can't pitch their sale. Nobody is censoring their sales pitch. The government is just saying, they can't just randomly call anyone and try to sell them vinyl siding whenever they feel like it.
Freedom of Speech means you can go stand on a park bench and preach on about how stupid Cubs fans are, or how awesome Tommy really is. Commercial advertisement is not protected under this same right. It doesn't mean someone can say their product is something it isn't, or sell something they don't have, and just randomly call people to sell crap to them. These are guidelines - not an infringement of civil rights!
On top of this, nobody is saying telemarketers cannot call the average citizen. This is an "opt-in" service. If you setup a phone, telemarketers have the right to assume you do wish to be contacted for "great deals", until you specify otherwise. The new phone customer is allowed to be contacted, only until he requests that he not be contacted. How is this unfair? That is like saying you don't want a flyer from some dude on the street corner, and him insisting you take it or you violate his freedom of speech.
This is just another example of how people will try to stretch the law to fit their own will.
Chief Justice of Alabama, Roy Moore, installed a monument of the Ten Commandments over two years ago in the lobby of his court room. After complaints by a few people, a law suit was brought to the US District courts. Judge Myron Thompson then ordered that the CJ Moore remove the monument from the courts, but instead the Moore appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case, because they are letting the minority push them around and are too afraid to hear the case.
This is not an argument of someone trying to force a religion onto another person. This is simply a case of a man putting up a monument to recognize the Ten Commandments as the basis of our laws and our legal system. The argument from the "Left" is the same argument we have heard year after year... "Separation of church and state!" Separation of church and state... where did that come from? What is that? The Liberals say it is in the Constitution, and they are right, it is found there... in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union! (Note the word "former".) There is no where in the US Constitution in which this terminology is used. The only thing the "Left" has to base their claim on is the line "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
When we go back to the facts I stated in the beginning, you realize we are talking about a Chief Justice of Alabama, not the United States Congress. Furthermore, you see that we are talking about a Monument of the Ten Commandments, not legislation that is establishing a religion. When you actually go back and look at what they are arguing, you see they have absolutely nothing to base their claims on.